With a prescription drug epidemic raging across the country, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) encouraged West Virginians to participate tomorrow in the sixth National Drug Take Back Day, an opportunity to dispose of any expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has scheduled the sixth National Drug Take Back Day on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cleaning out medicine cabinets can reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse, and participation in the annual public event helps to increase awareness of this critical health issue.
"Our prescription drug abuse epidemic is devastating to communities across West Virginia and this country, whether it prevents employers from hiring drug-free workers or it tears families apart," Senator Manchin said. "Participating in Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to bring neighbors and families together from all sides of this epidemic to work toward fighting against drug abuse. These events not only help combat drug abuse by providing an opportunity to safely dispose of these medications, but they spread awareness of this critical issue. Let's continue to work together so that West Virginia and our beautiful country can have strong, drug-free communities."
Collection sites offer anonymous drop-offs and no questions are asked. To view a full list of drop-off site locations, click here.
Senator Manchin has fought for many legislative initiatives to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse in West Virginia and across the nation, including:
* Hydrocodone Rescheduling: Senator Manchin recently reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral legislation to combat prescription drug abuse by tightening restrictions on some of the most powerful, addictive narcotics on the market. The "Safe Prescribing Act of 2013" would reclassify hydrocodone painkillers, such as Vicodin and Lortab, from a Schedule III to a Schedule II controlled substance. The reclassification would accurately reflect the drugs' high potential for addiction and abuse. An expert advisory panel to the FDA has already voted 19-10 in favor of re-classifying hydrocodone painkillers as a Schedule II controlled substance.
* The Pill Mill Crackdown Act: Senator Manchin has introduced S. 1760, the "Pill Mill Crackdown Act," with Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). The bill would increase penalties for pill mill operators, put some of the seized assets from pill mills toward Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, and make drugs containing hydrocodone more difficult to obtain illegitimately.
* Expanding High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA): The Office of National Drug Control Policy's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program provides funds to local law enforcement agencies located in counties in drug-trafficking regions. There are 11 counties in West Virginia currently designated as HIDTAs, and Senator Manchin is working with regional authorities to get more areas accepted into the program.
* Funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Senator Manchin has supported funding for COPS programs to provide local police departments with federal grant money. The program helps to advance community policing in many areas where funding is needed to help combat drug abuse.
* Funding for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG): Senator Manchin supports funding for the Byrne JAG program, which provides state and local governments with critical resources necessary to support various law enforcement efforts and drug treatment initiatives.
* Support for Drug Free Communities: Senator Manchin has supported funding for Drug Free Communities, which provides grants to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent substance abuse among our youth.
* Support for National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month: Senator Manchin is a cosponsor of S.Res.261 and S.Res.564, which designated October 2011 and October 2012, respectively, as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. Both resolutions passed the Senate by unanimous consent.